Part 2 It’s the Thought that Counts Christmas Clay (Free Holiday Crafts)

Part 2 aka Plan B Free Holiday Crafts

My quest for free crafts continued, though I have to admit, I am a little gun shy around the birch bark since my run in with Lymes Disease so I dumped the lot of it back into the woods keeping only the one finished product out on my back balcony. I hope the ticks are dead before I give it to Wendy.

Got home after a very long day (5 hours on the road) transporting a rescued bunny to its foster home and was met with a mess  “Are you kidding me!!!, Who took the modelling clay out of the jar; that’s the only one I made and it was supposed to go to Rolan!!  I can’t possibly duplicate that recipe.”  My anger turned to fear as I realized after three days, the clay had fermented and blown the top off its decorative glass jar.  The only positive, I had just sealed the granite counter so throwing out the saturated holiday paper goods in the vicinity and an hour of sticky clean up, and I was no worse off than before I decided to try and make modelling clay from lint.  Too panic stricken about the clean up, I wasted no time on photos, so you’ll have to believe.  But I’ve gotten ahead of myself….here’s the rest of that story.

With the firestarter craft out as an option, I headed back to Google Search “Uses for Dryer Lint” I tried an even less plausible recipe for gift giving loveliness because the photo showed it resulted in an elephant statue and my good friend Rolan is an artist who loves elephants and invites us over for really great dinners so often I’d like to say thank you (NOTE – when I offer to bring something his voice squeaks a bit as he declares we needn’t bring anything that isn’t store bought. So cooking isn’t really my strong suit either, that’s why my original idea of the ripped off recipes and herbs made so much sense, if something came out awful one would blame the cook not the cookbook and I’d be off the hook.).

Many, many articles say you can make a “playdough-like” substance from lint. I believed in the Real Simple website version, because I love the magazine but should have been concerned that it was posted a while ago and still says “Be the first to “Like” this article”. The RS article and recipe are at the bottom of this blog.

Now I have every confidence that I can sculpt a worthy elephant, but that’s not enough, as an artist I think Rolan would best be supported by my encouraging him in his artful endeavors, so I decided to make extra clay for Rolan to experiment with. I doubled the recipe.

Now ponder if you will what 6 cups of hairy/fluffy lint, 2 cups of flour, 4 cups of water and a teaspoon of vegetable oil (I used evoo) might look like, or don’t – I have a picture. It more or less looks like vomit in a sauce pan, and that was the beginning of the end. I was retching so often and so forcefully while stirring the stuff and simultaneously worrying about throwing out the spoon and pan, that Leisa, who was doing her homework across the room, offered to trade chores. If I swept, she’d stir for as long as it took me to sweep. Fine by me, but after about a half an hour sweeping one small room, even she knew there was nothing left to sweep and I was stalling. I went back to the stove and my reaction was even more violent. And they instruct you to stir til, smooth….…..I had to leave the computer for a bit as the mere memory was too much for my stomach. I’m back now. Smooth is relative and so after about  45 minutes of agonizing cooking of this mess, I padded the back picnic table with old newspapers and added a layer of wax paper. Then I turned my head away from the process and blindly dumped the stuff out to cool, then I retched my way to the trash to throw out my $60 sauce pan and favorite wooden spoon.

And what do I have to show for my efforts – nothing – I can’t mold this stuff, I can’t even think about this stuff. But I was able to put some in a pretty glass jar and tie on a purple bow, Rolan’s favorite color. The recipe says it’s irresistible – I say resist at all cost or if you have a stronger stomach than I do, tell me, did it work for you cuz mine’s still the consistency of slightly chewy (you know) and there’s a lot of it left in the wax paper that I can’t bring myself to touch.  STILL DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR FREE CRAFT OPTIONS, PLEASE POST.  And I am pretty sure I am giving up on lint.

REAL SIMPLE ARTICLE – “Since you most likely have it in abundance, use it to make homemade modeling dough. Simply mix the lint with water and flour (and, if you prefer, food coloring), as directed below for an ear-resistible sculpture of Dumbo.

To make the modeling dough:
1. Place 3 cups (shredded) dryer lint into a pot.
2. Pour in 2 cups water.
3. Stir in 1 cup flour.
4. Add ½ teaspoon vegetable oil.
5. Stir continuously over low heat until the mixture binds together and is of a smooth consistency.
6. Pour onto a sheet of wax paper to cool.”

3 thoughts on “Part 2 It’s the Thought that Counts Christmas Clay (Free Holiday Crafts)”

  1. Oh my – disgusting! A+ for sensory images.

    OK – I saw these at the school open house – kids made them in art class for hospital patients at Thanksgiving. Not exactly free, but very inexpensive. They used construction paper; I think fabric would be nice, too. Picture a large placemat (11×14) with paper weaving around all four sides. Contrasting colors. Exacto knife to cut angular slices to allow the weaving. Place 8.5×11 paper in center so it is framed by the weaving. On the “smaller” paper, make colorful leaf prints and create a haiku (your specialty!) about gratitude. Voila!


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